Let us not forget that the reason for the abstinence is as an act of penance. There should be a penitential side to the abstinence. To skip the meat but look forward to something else does not seem to me to be penetential :o . We don’t just skip the meat for the sake of skipping the meat!!
Now if you were to go without sugar in your tea / coffee all day Friday or to put a small stone in your shoe for an hour then I would say your act was penetential!!
I quote from thecatholicspirit.com/main.asp?SectionID=15&subsectionID=15&articleID=1431
•Abstinence is a form of penance.
Penance expresses sorrow and contrition for our wrongdoing, indicates our intension to turn away from sin and turn back to God, and makes reparation for our sins. It helps to cancel the debt and pay the penalties incurred by our transgressions.
• Abstinence is a form of asceticism, the practice of self-denial to grow in holiness. Jesus asks his disciples to deny themselves and take up their cross (Matthew 16:24).
• Abstinence is a sober way to practice simplicity and austerity, to deny the cravings of our bodies to honor Jesus who practiced the ultimate form of self-denial when he gave his body for us on the cross.
Thus, to give up flesh meat on Fridays, only to feast on lobster tail or Alaskan king crab, is to defeat the ascetical purpose of abstinence. Less is more!
There are countless options for simple Friday meatless dinners: pancakes, waffles, soup and rolls, chipped tuna on toast, macaroni and cheese, fried egg sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese pizza and, of course, fish.